Family Weavers (Ploceidae)

Least Concern

Sociable Weaver (Philetairus socius)


French: Républicain social German: Siedelweber Spanish: Tejedor republicano
Other common names: Social Weaver

Loxia socia


, 1790,

Warmbad, Great Namaqualand, south Namibia


Several geographical races proposed, i.e. geminus (described from Okaukuejo, in N Namibia), xericus (from W Namibia), lepidus (from Kuruman region, in Northern Cape, South Africa) and eremnus (from Kransfontein, N of Prieska, in Northern Cape); examination of large samples of specimens, however, does not reveal any constant regional variations, and plumage coloration perhaps dependent more on colour of substrate. Treated as monotypic.


NC Namibia S to SW Botswana and NW South Africa.

Descriptive notes

14 cm; 24–32 g. Small, rather pale-plumaged finch-like weaver with scaly markings on upperparts and flanks. Cap sandy brown, hindneck to back dark brown with pale... read more


Song, given only by high-ranking males, a chatter of c. 10 initial notes followed by a few paired... read more


Open arid country (annual rainfall 80–600 mm) with scattered trees and bare ground. Dependent... read more

Food and feeding

Diet seeds and insects, proportions (by weight) varying seasonally from 16% insects and 84% seeds to 80% insects and 20% seeds;... read more


Breeds Dec–Aug in N Namibia and Nov–Jan in SE of range; elsewhere breeding not seasonal, dependent on irregular rainfall,... read more


Resident; some dispersal and interchange between colonies up to 4 km apart, one individual moved... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Common to locally abundant. Population of Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, on SW Botswana-South Africa border, estimated as greater than 16,000 birds. read more

Recommended citation

Craig, A. & Christie, D.A. (2019). Sociable Weaver (Philetairus socius). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 10 December 2019).